SILVA & SILVA ATTORNEYS AT LAW
PATRICK SILVA DUIs
MEAGAN SILVA Living Trusts and Injury Cases
LESSONS I LEARNED FROM MY DAD
MY DAD’S STORY
My dad’s life has been anything but easy. His own father passed away when my dad was just a few months old, leaving his mom single with seven kids. Both of them were originally from Mexico, and they worked for years as fruit pickers in the U.S. At 6 years old, he was picking strawberries from the vines. My dad remembers watching over his little sister as she crawled around in the shabby wooden box that served as her crib. Eventually, they decided to move out to California to meet up with a cousin, living in a wooden shed on a pig farm in Bloomington. Eventually, after saving up and doing odd jobs around the farm, and his mother cleaning local doctors’ offices and houses, they made it out to San Bernadino, to a nicer house and a better environment. But the whole family still worked to help them get by. For my 8-year-old dad’s part, he would spend his days outside the newly established Norton Air Force Base, shining shoes and bringing the money home to his mom. They subsisted on bags of beans, flour, rice, and a lot of hard, hard work. Eventually, my dad went into the Army. Every penny he made out there during the Korean War he sent back to his mom. He didn’t know she was setting aside almost all of it. When he came home, he had enough money saved up to buy a car with only cash. Eventually, he met and married my mom. With his persistent work ethic, he saved up the money to get through school, and became an industrial engineer. The way I remember him during my childhood, he never stopped working hard. He’d be up at 4 a.m. for a long run — he was fond of 5K and 10K races — then it’d be off to work until 6 p.m. But that’s not to say he didn’t have time for his family. He somehow managed to coach my baseball team in the midst of all this, not to mention that he and my mom raised five kids, each with a work ethic as fervent and driven as his.
I see it as the quintessential rags-to-riches story. He was born without a father, the son of a fruit picker, and through his unending dedication to hard work, went on to raise five highly successful kids. Now, at 88 years old, he’s still going strong. He looks like he’s 65, and wakes up five days a week to get to the gym and work out. He’s out dancing almost every other week. No matter which way you look at him, he’s a deeply impressive figure. All of us kids are incredibly grateful for all the wisdom he’s imparted to each of us. This June 18 — Father’s Day — we’ll get together and remind him of the huge impact he’s had on our lives.
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